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Foodie Friday: Wild Edibles

6242436853_b0784c9dbd_bThe age of convenience has removed our society from many things once essential to our survival. Possibly the most important of which being the ability to forage and gather our own food. Acorns, for example, are most likely not a part of the average person’s diet in the 21st century. We are definitely experiencing a food revolution right now and what ten years ago was considered lawn clippings, now goes for a pretty penny in your local organic food market. This means there are healthy, delicious local edibles available in most areas, even if you are in the city or too busy to forage.

Adventurous chefs around the planet have been singing the praises of these types of ingredients for quite sometime. You might see ramps, fiddle head ferns, dandelion greens, and definitely wild mushrooms on the menu in almost any fine dining restaurant you can find. This is great for folks that can afford to dine in these establishments, but what about cooking with them at home? Shouldn’t we all be able to work with these ingredients without being intimidated? The answer is yes, yes we should. This week’s Foodie Friday will focus on some wild edibles used today and how to approach them.

Before you can start turning your foraged treasures into culinary masterpieces, you should take some time to get familiar with your area. Foraging is a skill that is gained through lots of careful practice and study. It should be taken very seriously and practiced under professional guidance and supervision. There are classes in most regions that will allow you to get some practice and learn which edibles are safe and which might be poisonous. This is definitely not a step you should skip if you do decide to pick your own wild edibles. If you aren’t able to go out and learn, or simply aren’t interested in that part of the process try your local farmers market or organic producer store.
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Foodie Friday: Curry Seafood Stir Fry

285260036_f99476c00b_zPutting together a healthy gourmet dinner doesn’t have to take all day. However coaxing complex flavors out of a dish in a short amount of time can be a challenge.

Curries are a great way to pack a dish with fantastic flavors and it can be prepared in a short amount of time if you choose the right blend and method for preparation. Stir frying curry is a fast-moving process that requires timing. The key is to have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go.

Personal preference goes a long way in regards to spiciness and intensity of flavor. Feel free to add more chili flakes or some ground cumin if you like to walk on the wild side. If you aren’t into the spice you can omit the chili flakes and reduce the amount of garam masala spice by a half tablespoon or so. If you don’t like seafood you can replace it with more vegetables and even tofu for a delicious vegan option.

Stay cool!
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Foodie Friday: Blackberry Cobbler

I grew up in the redwood forest of northern California. As a child I would spend countless hours running around and playing in the woods. In the summertime there was always a bounty of wild blackberries that I could pick. First thing in the morning I would wash out a milk jug and head out to collect as many blackberries as I could. After a long day of berry picking I would return home sweaty, scraped up, and stained purple. Never-the-less I was carrying my full gallon of blackberries.

Every kid that I knew had a different preference for how they consumed their harvest, and my favorite was my Mother’s Cobbler. Though she never actually used a recipe for her blackberry cobbler, I have, over the years, come up with my own version. This recipe is as always a suggested guideline. If you feel like adding a splash of grand marnier or using different berries, it’s up to you. Enjoy!
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